Bonjour Tristesse With her pixie hairdo and tomboy sturdiness, Jean Seberg was the antithesis of a lacquered Hollywood starlet. In Otto Preminger's melodrama, based on Francoise Sagan's… Bonjour Tristesse With her pixie hairdo and tomboy sturdiness, Jean Seberg was the antithesis of a lacquered Hollywood starlet. In Otto Preminger's melodrama, based on Francoise Sagan's…
Movie on DVD Review

Bonjour Tristesse (2003)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Dec 16, 2003; DVD Release Date: Dec 16, 2003; Movie Rated: Unrated; With: Deborah Kerr, David Niven and Jean Seberg

With her pixie hairdo and tomboy sturdiness, Jean Seberg was the antithesis of a lacquered Hollywood starlet. In Otto Preminger's melodrama, based on Francoise Sagan's novel, she plays the impulsive, spoiled teen daughter of a widower playboy (Niven), whose romance with an uptight divorcee (Kerr) during a summer idyll in the south of France leads to tragedy. Preminger fractures the story into a stark black-and-white present and nostalgic Technicolor past -- a dramatically effective (and now so au courant) device that's bolstered by gorgeous tracking shots and splendid acting. And though Seberg was clearly a novice compared to Niven and Kerr, it's precisely her untrained naturalness that makes her performance so compelling. It's also impossible to watch her anguished, tear-streaked face in the last scene and not think of her own troubled life and suspected suicide at 40.

Originally posted Jan 09, 2004 Published in issue #745 Jan 09, 2004 Order article reprints
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